THE IMPERATIVE NEED TO REFER TO ONLY THE FUQAHAA
“One Faqeeh is sterner on shaitaan than a thousand Aabids.” (Hadith)
(Aabid is a man of adequate knowledge who devotes the greater part of his life to only ibaadat. However, he lacks in the divinely bestowed attribute of faqaahat — a Noor of Understanding which Allah Ta’ala infuses into the heart of the Mu’min.)
The Chain of the Fuqaha commences with the Sahaabah who were the Students of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). While all the Sahaabah were not Fuqaha, a great many were Fuqaha (Jurists of Islam) of the highest class. These Fuqaha among the Sahaabah spread out into the distant lands of the Islamic Empire after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They imparted and disseminated the Ilm of the Qur’aan to those who became the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and Fuqaha of the first and highest class in the era of the Taabieen.
The Taabieen duplicated the function and the activities of their Sahaabah-Ustaadhs. In this way, from one generation to the next, came into existence great and illustrious Fuqaha who raised the Edifice of the Divine Immutable Shariah on the Foundations of the Qur’aan and Sunnah.
This was that Jamaat of Men whom Allah Ta’ala had chosen to guard and defend the Deen of Islam. There is no comparison with them. They were unique in every aspect. They were Fuqaha, Muhadditheen, Mufassireen, etc. of the highest category. None of the later Muhadditheen such as Imaam Bukhaari (rahmatullah alayh) attained the rank of Ilm which was occupied by the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen.
No one, neither Muhaddith nor Mufassir of any age, was independent of the Fuqaha. Every authority in Islam on any subject had to incumbently refer to and bow their heads in subservience to the Fuqaha. For the safety of Imaan the need to accept without scrutinization and with complete submission the rulings of the Fuqaha, is imperative. Whoever has attempted to set himself up as an adversary to the Fuqaha has miserably failed and ended up in the dregs of deception and deviation —far, very far from Siraatul Mustaqeem. Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) explains the imperative nature of submission to the Fuqaha in the following answer to a question posed to him.
Whenever the Ahnaaf Ulama issue a fatwa on any mas’alah, they always refer to Durr-e-Mukhtaar, Raddul Muhtaar, Shaami, Aalamghiri, etc. They do not say: ‘Allah said so or Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said so…’ Why have they adopted this practice when Qur’aanic and Hadith references are more convincing to a Mu’min?
ANSWER by Hakimul Ummat
“In fact, you have not even seen the kutub of the Ahnaaf Ulama. You will find for example Hidaaya replete with Aayaat and Ahaadith references. The same will be found in Badaai’ and Mabsoot. The same applies for Durr-e-Mukhtaar and Raddul Muhtaar. Why do present-day Muftis refrain from citing the Qur’aan and Hadith? Its answer is that today all Ulama are Muqallideen. They do not possess the ability to deduct ahkaam directly from the Qur’aan and Hadith. It is for this reason they cite the reference of such Ulama-e-Mujtahideen who had made use of ijtihad and had compiled the kutub.
If they do not do so, and of their own accord deduct masaail from the Qur’aan and Hadith, even the questioner will have no confidence. Furthermore, such a Mufti is the victim of thousands of errors. When he is not on the pedestal of Ijtihaad, how can he employ ijtihaad to formulate masaail from the Qur’aan and Hadith? Besides reading the superficial translation and deceiving people, he does nothing else. In the present age, there is a group of people who are trapped in the disease of self-deception imagining themselves to be among the Mujtahideen.
If their ‘ijtihaad’ is examined, the state of their error will be understood. In view of the condition of today’s claimants of ijtihaad, it is the Ruling of the Ulama that taqleed of the illustrious Predecessors (the Salf) is Waajib. Hence, they issue Fataawa by reference to these kutub in which are compiled the Ahkaam which have been formulated on the basis of the Qur’aan and Hadith (by the Aimmah-e-Mujtahiddeen)”
(Imdaadul Ahkaam, Vol.1, page 228)
IJTIHAAD AND ITS CLAIMANTS
In this age of liberalism, the disease of pride has impelled many half-baked students of Deeni knowledge to lay claims to Ijtihaad and to imagine that they are Mujtahiddeen, Muhadditheen and Mufassireen. They consider themselves competent to deduct Shar’i ahkaam directly from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and feel themselves independent of the Fuqaha.
In this regard, Shaikh Yusuf Bin Ismaaeel An-Nibhaani writes in his treatise, Hujjatullaahi Alal Aalameen:
“Today it is only a man who is mentally deranged and whose Deen is corrupt, who will lay claim to Ijtihaad. This has been said by Shaikhul Akbar Muhayyuddin. Imaam Al-Munaawi said in his Sharhul Kabir alal Jaami’is Saghir that Allaamah Shihaab Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami said:
“When Al-Jalaal As-Suyuti claimed Ijtihaad (for himself), his contemporaries (among the Ulama) stood up and unanimously criticized him. They forwarded to him a questionnaire consisting of a number of questions (each one having) two views. They said that if he possessed the ability of the lowest category of Ijtihaad, namely, Ijtihaadul Fatwa, then he should comment on the Raajih (Preferred view) from the views presented, and he should expound the daleel for each view in terms of the principles of the Mujtahideen. Allaamah Suyuti returned the questionnaire without answering the questions and presented the excuse of the volume of work which prevents him from studying the questions.”
Ibn Hajar then adds: Now ponder the colossal difficulty of this category, namely Ijtihaadul Fatwa, which is the lowest category of Ijtihaad. It will then become manifest to you that the one who lays claim to even this lowest category of ijtihaad, leave alone Ijtihaad-e-Mutlaq, is trapped in bewildering confusion in his affairs and he languishes in mental corruption. He is among those who wander aimlessly in blindness”
Imaam Nawawi says in Ar-Raudhah: “Istimbaat (Deducting masaail) directly from the Kitaab (Qur’aan) and Sunnah is not permissible except for one who has attained the pedestal of Ijtihaad. This has been explicitly said (by the Fuqaha).”
There is no need to comment further on those who have embarked on deviation on the basis of their misconceived ability of ‘ijtihaad’.
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